Girl from Murree set ablaze loses battle for life at PIMS

Px01-011 ISLAMABAD: Jun01 - Parents of Maria, Resident of Murree, weep after her death at the Burns Center of PIMS Hospital. Maria was burnt alive by influential persons of Murree while the relatives also complained about the alleged negligence of the doctors of the hospital. ONLINE PHOTO by S M Sohail

A 19-year-old girl who was set ablaze in Murree for refusing a marriage proposal lost her battle with life on Wednesday at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS).

Maria Sadaqat, a teacher at a private school in Dhok Kallar in Lower Dewal, was admitted to PIMS with 85 per cent burn injuries; however she succumbed to her injuries despite doctors’ hectic efforts.

The grieving family members held a protest demonstration in the hospital for what they claimed that hospital authorities did not let them meet her, while she was under treatment. They complained that the victim was not provided with the best available medical facility.

They demanded Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to take notice of the incident. The family members said that they would not bury their daughter’s body until justice is done. However; later on, the victim’s family members ended the protest and took the body to their hometown.

Maria, whose family originally hails from Murree, said that five people locked her in a room, sprinkled petrol on her and set her ablaze. The family accused a person named Shaukat for committing the crime. Maria had earlier refused a marriage proposal by Shaukat’s son who already had a wife.

Talking to Pakistan Today, PIMS Burn Center spokesperson Dr Isaac Asher said that the doctors tried their best to save the girl, but they failed mainly because of her late arrival and the nature of her injuries.

He said that a 20% burn patient is considered critical, while she was brought with 85% injuries.

Dr Asher said: “She should have been brought to the hospital within one hour, but the victim reached the hospital after the lapse of many hours, which minimised her chances of survival considerably”.

He further added: “For the management of burn patients, the first 24 hours are extremely important and that determines the ultimate outcome. Hence, more burn centers should be set up at the district level, as unfortunately PIMS Burn Center is the only state of the art burn center in the country, which is providing free of cost treatment to burn victims”.